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Commissioner urges health professionals to maintain harmony in the sector


UYO – The Akwa Ibom Commissioner for Health, Dr Emem-Abasi Bassey, has urged health workers’ unions in the country to ensure harmony among themselves for effective healthcare delivery.

Bassey said this while declaring open the 6th Triennial Delegates conference of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) held in Uyo on Wednesday.

The commissioner was represented by Dr Martins Akpan, Chief Medical Officer in-charge of Free Healthcare Programme in the

Bassey said that the current frictions in the health sector was not in the interest of the patients and the health sector.
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He told them that no meaningful progress could be achieved in the sector when there was disunity and rancour among the health
unions in the country.

“As you begin deliberations today, it is important to remind us that key to providing effective healthcare to our people is the need to maintain harmony among constituent group in the sector.

“The current trend in the the sector, which is characterized by suspicion, hostility, in-fighting and similar vices, is to say the least,
not healthy for the health sector.

“Let me emphasise for the umpteenth time that maintaining harmony and team spirit among healthcare workers is a win-win situation,“ he said.

He noted what the patients needed in the country was improved care and coordination in the service delivery and not rancour.

Earlier, the National President of the union, Mr Felix Faniran, said the union would establish consultancy status for its members
as well as pursue the post of chief executive officers of Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals for them.

Faniran, said that the union would pursue various court cases, agitation and negotiations to get what NUAHP required.

“The hopes of many allied health professionals which had been dampened before now are being resuscitated.

“Attempts are now being made to establish consultancy status for our members, payment of specialist allowance and participation
in the post of chief executive officers of our tertiary hospitals are being pursued vigorously,” he said.

He, however, regretted that the National Health Act did not mention the existing registered trade unions or recognised their roles
in the healthcare services.

According to him, the act does not also provide for composition of Federal Ministry of Health in spite of the union’s strong position
on the matter.

He asked that the Federal Ministry of Health should be made up of various directorates that would reflect the various healthcare
professional groups in the health sector.

He said, “our attention has just been drawn to a committee recently set up by the Honourable Minister of Health on the Act without including any member of our union. We disagree with this and call for correction of this action in the interest of fairness.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference is, “Industrial Harmony in Nigeria’s Health Sector: The Way Forward. ” (NAN)
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